Schering-Plough agreed to pay $346 million in fines and damages to settle charges that it overcharged for drugs sold through Medicaid. The pharmaceutical company said it would also plead guilty to a federal criminal charge concerning a payment to a managed care customer. Federal law requires drugmakers to give their lowest prices to Medicaid, but a group of whistle-blowers accused the company of giving some private health care providers better deals on its drugs by offering them under-the-table "patient education" grants.
Google's Auction Site Goes Online
Google, the online search engine leader, opened the Web site www.ipo.google.com, where prospective investors must register to bid for shares in the company's highly anticipated initial stock offering. After a prospective investor provides certain personal information, the site promises to e-mail a link to a site that provides the ID number required to place a bid for Google shares through one of 28 participating investment banks.
D Squared Solutions avoided a court battle with the Federal Trade Commission by agreeing to stop bombarding computer users with Internet pop-up ads advertising its ad-blocking software. The San Diego company said it would stop using the Messenger function enabled on many Windows operating systems to send pop-ups.
Bristol-Myers Squibb said it will pay $300 million to settle a class-action lawsuit that accused the company of lying about accounting and its investment in ImClone Systems. Shareholders who sued Bristol-Myers said it made overly optimistic statements about an ImClone drug's chances for approval by the Food and Drug Administration. The accounting allegations relate to an announcement by Bristol-Myers in 2002 that it overstated revenue between 1999 and 2001 by $2.5 billion by offering incentives to wholesalers.
Hollinger International completed its $1.33 billion sale of London's Telegraph newspapers to David and Frederick Barclay, ending eight months of wrangling with former chief executive Conrad Black. Separately, the Hollinger-owned Chicago Sun-Times reduced its single-copy circulation numbers by roughly 72,000, or 23 percent, more than a month after Hollinger announced that the paper had inflated the numbers for several years.
Mantra Films, marketers of the "Girls Gone Wild" videos and DVDs, agreed to pay nearly $1.1 million in customer refunds and civil penalties to settle government claims that the company shipped unordered products and then charged customers.
Delta Air Lines chief executive Gerald Grinstein told pilots that the carrier needs $1 billion a year in concessions from them, rejecting a proposal for up to $705 million in cuts.
Matsushita Electric recalled about 500,000 combination TV/VCRs because the device's cabinet can break when lifted. The gray-black, 13-inch and 20-inch sets were sold under the Panasonic, Quasar, RCA and JCPenney brands from January 1995 through December 1996 for $300 to $490, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said.
A federal appeals court revived a patent lawsuit that McLean-based Mars, maker of Pedigree dog food and Whiskas cat food in addition to its well-known candies, brought against Del Monte Foods over dog and cat treats with soft centers. The appeals court ruled that the trial judge used an incorrect interpretation of the patent to dismiss the case, which Mars filed in 2001.
Archer Daniels Midland lost $103 million in its fiscal fourth quarter, pushed into the red by a $252 million after-tax charge related to the settlement of fructose litigation, compared with profit of $95 million in the second quarter of 2003.
Deutsche Bank, Europe's third-biggest bank, said second-quarter profit rose 15 percent, to $790 million, but the increase was less than analysts expected because of a slump in investment banking.
Compiled from reports by the Associated Press, Bloomberg News, Dow Jones News Service and Washington Post staff writers.